Monday, July 13, 2009

Bloggers: Filling a gap in sports coverage?

The ongoing skirmishes between sports journalists and bloggers -- the most recent reflected in Mark Cuban's suggestion (in his blog, of all places) that some bloggers be publicly shunned by media organizations -- involve two groups that often work at odds but who generally describe themselves in similar ways.
That's according to a new survey just released by the Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State. The survey involved more than 200 bloggers who provide daily coverage of a variety of sports.
Not surprisingly, most bloggers in the survey were men, and most covered men's sports. Most say what they do is sports journalism -- although most don't use original reporting in their blogs, nor have they applied for credentials to a sports event.
They also hold themselves to different ethical standards than professional journalists; for instance, a very high percentage said journalists should verify information -- but the number dropped when bloggers were asked about their use of information.
It's not surprising that most bloggers we surveyed have never worked in a newsroom, nor do they have journalism degrees. I think what explains most of the gap between bloggers and journalists, in terms of attitudes and values, lies in the original reporting they do. I think that if sports organizations (and journalists) are truly concerned about the erosion of sports coverage via blogs, they should advocate for more blogger access to opportunities to do original reporting. That means more access to press boxes, media conference calls, and maybe even to locker rooms. The challenge is in how to make that happen, of course.

2 comments:

Christy Hammond said...

I think many blogs are started because the blogger does not believe that topic is getting the coverage it deserves. Obviously there are other reasons for creating a blog, but I think it is safe to say that bloggers are filling a gap in sports coverage.

As newspaper circulations shrink and reporters are laid off, we're seeing some sports/teams receive less print coverage on a daily and even weekly basis. Bloggers may not have access to the team to get original quotes. That doesn't mean they can't create unique content -- statistical analysis, game analysis, etc.

Courtney Clarkson said...

Hello Marie-

I came across your blog while looking for people who help promote positivity in youth, and thought you may be interested in sharing a great opportunity with your readers.

I work for Mr Youth, a marketing company that has partnered with Nike to get people talking about www.NikeBackYourBlock.com. It’s a site Nike launched to accept grant applications for up to $5000 in cash and Nike products to help support organizations and schools with programs in sports, education, advocacy and/or mentoring.

I think your One Sport Voice may be a great venue to spread awareness about this campaign and to get additional groups involved.

There are two ways to share the message about NikeBackYourBlock.com. You can encourage the youth-focused organizations you’re familiar with to apply, OR you can support current applicants by sharing the site with your readers and challenging them to vote.

Collaboration with people like you will help spread the word about this program and help get organizations the support they deserve.

I’d be happy to send you some additional information about the program, and please feel free to contact me with any questions you have. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

All the best,
Courtney Clarkson
courtneyc@mryouth.com